JBC Legal Group does not care about resolving any issues; they are only concerned with collecting money and/or getting me off the phone.
I received a letter from them in mid-June, 2004 stating that they were giving me notice of debt to a particular utility company in the amount of $528.70.
The service address that JBC listed was one at which I had lived from 6/1998 through 8/1998. I have not lived at that address since then, nor have I ever received notice of such a debt prior to 6/2004. In addition, I paid in full for utility services rendered in 8/1998. Needless to say, I was very surprised at receiving this letter.
The letter stated that I had 30 days to dispute the validity of the debt, and that I must provide this in writing. My first action was to call the contact person at JBC listed in the letter to get more information. (I was not, of course, transferred to the person I was directed to contact; I was, instead, instructed to deal with one of their "reps".)
I was told that the outstanding balance was actually from 5/1999. I explained that I did not live at the referenced address at that time and asked what I needed to do in order to get this wiped from my record, since it is clearly incorrect. The woman told me to write a letter disputing the debt and providing proof. I asked what would be considered proof that I do not owe this money, and I was told that I should get documentation from the apartment management that I did not live there at the time stated and I should also provide proof that I cancelled the utility service when moving out in 8/1998.
I soon learned that these were not reasonable requests. I contacted the management company for the apartment, but they do not keep records beyond 2 years, so they had nothing that could help me 6 years after my having moved out. The utility service was cancelled by phone in 8/1998, so no evidence exists of this cancellation. The only evidence I could come up with was a copy of my apartment lease showing that it was only for 6/98 - 8/98. I wrote a letter and mailed it before the end of June.
I followed up by phone in July, and JBC said they had not received my letter, that I must not have marked the file number clearly enough, and that I would have to re-send everything. I asked for confirmation of what would be needed to clear the erroneous mark from my record. They told me the lease and my letter would not be sufficient to prove I didn't owe the money; they said I needed to prove I did not live there at the time.
I was a full-time college student from 8/1998 through 5/1999, living on-campus, and I was able to get proof of this from my alma mater's residential services office. They even listed my dorm room. I re-sent all of the original information, adding this to the packet, and marked my file number in huge bold letters, mailing it to JBC.
I followed up by phone two weeks later and was told by JBC that it had not been received. Since it was mailed from Eastern PA to NJ, there is no reason it would not have arrived. But I was told to follow up in another two weeks, and I did. I was again told that my information had not been received. I insisted that it must have been and asked to speak to someone in disputes.
I was transferred to a man who told me that he saw a note in my file saying that I was supposed to be informed that I needed to provide proof in the form of a letter from the utility company stating that the dispute had been resolved. I asked if that meant that the dispute was settled, and he said that it did not. He said that it meant I was to deal directly with the utility company, and if I could clear it up with them and provide proof that it was settled, then they would clear my account. JBC was unable to provide me with contact information for the utility company. *Note: the original letter from JBC stated that I should not contact the utility company, but should deal with JBC directly.
By this point, I was more than a little frustrated, but I was able to obtain a phone number for the utility company and I called them. They informed me that although they do show a debt, this account was sold to JBC Legal as bad debt, and they are no longer involved in it, nor do they have any other information about it. I explained to the utility company what JBC had told me regarding getting a letter from them, but the utility company said that it is no longer theirs to work out, and they CANNOT provide any type of letter regarding the nature of the debt or whether or not it was settled. It no longer legally belonged to the utility company, so I had to deal with the sole owners of this account now: JBC Legal Group.
I have called JBC almost a dozen times now, and I have talked to a different person every single time I call. AND I get a different story every time I call. They do not care that I do not owe the money. They do not care that I have sent all the proof they have asked for that it was in my power to provide. They are not interested in getting this dispute resolved unless it means money in their hands.
I do NOT owe the money. My husband and I are looking to buy a house, and this open collections issue is the only bad mark on our credit history. But an open collections problem is a very black mark. I can afford to pay the $528.70; but I should not have to. I am being held back from getting qualified for a mortgage because this unreasonable company refuses to work with me to get this resolved. I am at my wit's end!